Needlefish stabs tourist in the neck while swimming

·2-min read

A tourist in Thailand was seriously injured after a needlefish, known in Thai as pla tek leng, impaled him in the neck while he was swimming.

Noppadol Sringam was swimming with his friends in Laem Ngop district on Thursday (local time) at Ao Tan Khu beach when the fish stabbed and injured him, and remained stuck in his neck.

The Bangkok Post reported Mr Sringam called for help and was given first aid before being taken to Trat Hospital.

The man was stabbed in the neck by a needlefish when he was swimming in Thailand.
The man was stabbed in the neck by a needlefish. Source: Bang Pid Subdistrict Administration

The fish — which is long and skinny with a pointy snout and small teeth — is found in tropical waters around Thailand.

Although there have been reported cases of people being stabbed by needlefish in the past, local politician Suchart Jitmungmanotham said it hadn't been seen in that particular area before.

The man was rushed to the hospital after the needlefish stabbed him in the neck.
The man was rushed to the hospital. Source: Bang Pid Subdistrict Administration

Needlefish deaths 'rare' but not impossible

Although deaths from needlefish injuries are rare, they have occurred before.

In 1977, a 10-year-old Hawaiian boy was stabbed in the eye when a 1.2m long needlefish jumped out of the water and pierced his eye along with his brain.

The boy was fishing with his father in Hanamaulu Bay, Kauai, at night when the incident occurred.

The second death occurred in 2007 when a 16-year-old Vietnamese boy was stabbed in the heart when he was diving at night near Halong Bay.

A Saudi Arabian news website also reported in 2013 that a young Saudi boy died of a hemorrhage resulting from being hit by a needlefish on the left side of his neck.

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